Tuesday, January 27, 2009

I should be at the gym

But I'm tired!

Having made a complete month (ok nearly) of training per the plan I'm on my recovery week. Yesterday was a rest day and today should have been an easy 30min run and swim. BUT I had to see a customer today which meant an early morning session was out of the window and we already know that I'm not too good at getting things done in the evening!

Having had my "rest" day yesterday {note I say rest day yet I somehow managed to be at work until 7!! Oops but it was a good day at work, yesterday I made people happy which makes me happy... anyhow I digress}.... so I was ok with no phys yesterday. I got back from my customer at a very reasonable time today; 1730 **WOW!** and rather then going straight to the gym (I had doen the good thing of packing my kit in the car but made the mistake of forgetting swim hat, watch, goggles!) I came home and felt the need for a quick snooze.

Quick snooze turned into an hour snooze and that musty head post snooze feeling. I now don't feel like going to the gym, I feel like eating lots of crap and staying in. I'm tired!... yes I have no decent excuse BUT having been so scared over Christmas (not because of seeing so many re-runs I may add or watching Christmas Carol but from the lurgy thing)... I have decided to endulge my "I don't wanna go" strop and have some pasta and cheese tonight instead.

January Lazy Days = 1

Now where's my pasta and more importantly where's my duvet... zzzzzzzz.. LOL!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Weekly Recap

Just a quickie.

Thanks for the raising money suggestions last time - I've done the "JustGiving" thing before and will do so again... that plus some sell off of my breadmaker and some other things and let's see where that gets me.

I'm a bit pooped to be honest - possibly ramped my training a bit too soon as I'm a bit zonked but I'm happy. Today I managed a really nice gentle 8 miler, just about the right distance with a run down and up the Thames near Kingston. A friend of mine is running in the Paris marathon and although a bit slower then me actually it worked out really well, keeping the pace down made the distance ok I think.

It's weird at the moment I'm feeling a little stressed which makes my breathing a bit tight.. ....the stress is pretty much all coming from my working environment I'm pretty sure (strange but true)... but the funny thing is when I'm exercising the breathing tension (as that's what it is if you see what I mean) goes away! How funny! I'm in one of those moods where I wish we could wind the clock forward a few months (not that I would actually like to do that as life is too much fun!), anyhow yes just whiz it forward so we'd know where we're at...... but we are where we are, redundacy still looming with no end in sight. Currently I do have a job and thankful for that... I won't go on.. I hate talking about work trivia in my blog as really the whole worry thing is a waste of energy in a way...I'm rambling aren't I!?!

The week ahead is a recovery week (oh thank you thank you thank you)..... So I'm looking forward to that - may try and get my swimming time up from 30-35mins to nearer 45 and back off the run/ bike a little. Talking of swim.... I thought my eyes deceived me last night, but no... I did ONE (just the one mind) 100m split in 1min 45... TA DA! This news will surely make Jules very jealous so unless he reads this I've no intention of telling him until I fly past him in the 50m pool in Lanzarote next month (cue evil laughter mwah-ha ha ha haaaa!)

Right the light has faded and I'm blogging in the dark so better get off my arse and put the light on... or maybe not and just sit back on the sofa and have that snooze... hummmm

Friday, January 23, 2009

How to raise money?

Not just for personal gain I may add but in order for me to raise money for charity... you see as part of my golden bond entry to London I've got to get to £1800 which actually is really £900 as my company has a charity matching scheme.

So how to raise money? Here's some ideas;
1. The obvious - sponsorship. This is ok but I do not really like asking the same people for charitable donations
2. Fundraising events; So I know our company will help with this and we'll do things like;
Auction of promises
Cake sales
Money collection pots
There must be more to do here

3. Karen's random schemes;
- I have my penny pot. Probably not much in here but every little helps
- Ebay... will anyone want to buy stuff that I'd either look to freecycle (like recycle but a local give away scheme for working things), or put in a charity bag (I have some hardly used suits and stuff... no doesn't include old running tights.. eugh!)
- WHAT ELSE?? There must be more.... I'll get to some more thinking..... any suggestions welcome!

On another note entirely "Vicar of Dibley" is just playing a rerun on the box. If you've ever seen it and seen the countryside in the opening sequence then I'm happy to say that is exactly where I do my most favorite cycling over towards Henley way, this is verified by that certain source, Wikipedia! Depending on the weather I may even head over that a way tomorrow morning (or I may just hide in my duvet... or get up an play guitar hero instead... decisions decisions!)

Right time to get that BUCKEYE gadget in to the right hand side bar..... if you see it it's worked!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

iPod by letters

So, whilst driving back from Devon yesterday I decided not to listen to the radio but listen to the "B"s in my iPod, not by artist but by song. It was an interesting journey! From classical to queen, from a book (Birdsong which I skipped) to Eminem.. what an eclectic collection of tunes!

Still it made the journey pass and proved quite interesting with memories haunting the journey, I even passed Stone Henge!

and that got me thinking... with all the tourists who circle the place (about 50m or so away from the stones)... well they're cutting quite a track. I wonder what people will think of the place in another 1000 years time and the strange ring that circles the stones!?!

On the note of training, which after all this blog is supposed to be about... I'm pleased to report again so far so good this week. January is turning into a fairly good month thus far! I'm back running - which is a relief not just for me but all my family and friends. I'm back on the turbo and even managed to get to the pool!... So fingers crossed, finish the rest of the week and then back off a bit next week as it's a "rest" week!

I've also got my Sportracks syncing with Buckeye Outdoor so watch out for stats on the side bar coming soon! I'm quite obviously a geek at heart!

And finally - thanks for the 40:30:30 nutritional advice (remember the "d" word is banned from my vocabulary!)... When I next go shopping I intend to pack some nuts and cottage cheese into by trolley {cart}!

That's all folks - this weeks final of "Master Chef" is on and the dishes are being served - the question is WHO WILL MAKE it into the next round.. GASP!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Hangover Sunday

Oh dear!... So much for "not drinking in January" ... Humm.. still I had a good excuse...

It's my brilliant Dad's birthday today so the family went out for a meal last night at a local Tappas bar.... Let's just say we drunk a little too much and I carried on the family tradition of spilling a glass of wine on the tablecloth (this is usually my Dad's party trick!).

Delicate heads awaited us today - I blame the brandy ;o)

Still it was a grand night of celebration and it's not often that we get together on a Saturday night!

On the training front, well yes today has been a bit of a write-off although I did put myself on the turbo this evening for a 30mins spin.. and thus ending a FULL week of training {fanfare}...and to really get me smiling I even managed a 6.5mile run yesterday (very gingerly at an average pace of about 10:30mph, with my HR strictly in the easy zone). SO I'M VERY HAPPY that I managed the distance and now think I can build with confidence. I'm still not doing anything remotely anaerobic will wait the blood results before I do that.

STILL - Endorphins are back and I feel good :o)... ok apart from the headache... mwaaahhhh!

14 Weeks till London - I'd better get the count down clock on the side bar at some point.

On another note - in an attempt to keep me on track from a health/ weight point of view I'm tracking what I'm eating in some diet software thing (I do not believe in the word "dieting" btw... I just believe in eating healthily and exercising). I've read in some books that a good balance between carb/ protein/ fat is 40:30:30.... having tracked my food intake for a week I'm more like 50-55, 20-25, 20-25, with a bit of booze ontop.

So here's the question.. if 40:30:30 is the way how on earth does one get enough protein in? I've struggled even on days where I thought I'd done ok! Still it's only like a week that I've even been thinking about it..... Some more thought perhaps!

OK - that's all folks, work awaits tomorrow (bleah!) and I need to rest my poor head ;o)


Monday, January 12, 2009

A few questions...

1. How do you get a word such as "thixotropic" into your blog?
I didn't even know this word existed until I read it on "Journey to a Centum"

2. Should you wear shorts over your running tights? DISCUSS
I personally don't think it's necessary, but then I also tend to wear a top which covers my arse (LOL)... I think lose running shorts over tights look a bit daft but then I don't care what I look like when I run and so what if I think it looks daft as it doesn't really matter (if you see what I mean)

3. I read on a couple of blogs (here and here) recently which had your "word" in. What's your word?

This is mine, I like it!

Your Word is "Peace"
You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.

Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.

You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

I like my word!

4. What day of the week is your "rest" day?
Mine is today... phewy! Did make a 6miler yesterday so as well... although the 6 miles were done 5min walk/ 10min run given virus yuk thingy.

5. Apparently this week is the week people start a diet and/or fitness plan. Are you starting one?
I am doing both. I've weighed myself in (the scales wobbled but didn't break!) and have a plan getting sorted for London!

Happy Monday - only 5 days to the weekend and to Papa G's birthday!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Road Trip

So I finally got home from my fews days away, 190ish miles drives Weds, Thurs and Fri left me kinda pooped come Friday night! Bleah!

But hey I took some photo's whilst driving through Wales :o)

... and I've come up a with a kinda plan to get me to London.... the marathon that is, not like drive there (I know how to do that already... mwahhhh!)...... although I've yet to figure out how to up my mileage for London and get where I need to for the bike with Austria 70.3 just a month after... answers on a postcard (or comment below) appreciated!

So what of my drive through Wales then... well I actually, despite the miles, I enjoyed the majority of the journey, pretty much until I got back in to real civilization the scenery was wonderful and I was lucky with the weather (cold but clear). I passed through and saw signs for villages such as Llandovery, Llanfihangel-ar-arth, Llanlieonfel and Ysbyty-Ystwyth.... obviously Wales does have it's own language knowing which would allow you to be able to work out how these names are supposed to be spoken! (Note I did watch a bit of Welsh TV but, apart from the name of people I couldn't follow!)

The road ahead was going to be a long one;
But it was ok, I had my waterbottle and radio tuned into Radio 2 for some 80s and 90s "classics"

There was still some snow on some slopes (not much mind - phew!)
Luckily I did follow a "Powys road maintenance vehicle for some time"... lucky as he had road salt and a shoovle in the back, not that it was needed for my journey
I saw plenty of sheep (as you would expect, I was in Wales afterall!)
I even saw the moon!

Off to the doctors tomorrow for a check up to get the all clear for a marathon. I'm feeling loads better from this virus thing I picked up just before Christmas but still not 100%... so still treading carefully whilst wanting to ease back into easy sessions (strictly no tempo work until I'm 100%). Still a check up with the doctor will hopefully be reassuring and give me the green light to proceed! Huzzah!

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Holy Moly

I've gone and done it now....

Headlines from an email I received today;

"I am very pleased to confirm that you have been allocated an NSPCC gold bond guaranteed place in the Flora London Marathon on Sunday 26th April 2009."


Well I had put myself on the reserve list in December but didn't actually expect to get a slot! So like what's-his-name in the chocolate factory I've found one of the last tickets and I'm going to go and join the party!

Better get that health check done at the doctors!

... this is just 4 weeks before Austria 70.3... I hope I'm recovered enough to enjoy that experience too.....


A Marathon..

I've always said I'd never do one


On a brighter note (does it get any brighter!?)... I woke up this morning feeling more rested then I did last night and feel like I'm fighting the cold - so the decision to rest last night was a good one. I headed to the gym at 7am this morning (note it was still -3 and trying to snow... WTF with this cold snap already)... Anyhow ... I did an easy 15mins (yes only 15minutes) jog.... starting at 8.5kph raising to 10kph and back down.... with my HR peaking at the top of Z1 which was perfect. Felt fine with that. Small steps remember?!

Headed then to the pool... managed 1500m in total (mixture of stuff)... and felt strangely giddy whilst horizontal on the swim... go figure that... maybe the cold is giving me a bit of a balance issue??! Still managed it all without doing myself any damage.... hurrah for that.

Today (well this evening actually) I've traveled to south west Wales... i don't think I've ever been this far west in south Wales before.... until tomorrow when I got a bit further. Then after my meeting I'm journeying up through the heart of Wales on a diagonal trajectory towards the North West of England. Assuming it's a bright day I'm looking forward to the views as the Welsh valley's are stunning. Back home in time for tea on Friday I hope!

Right - better go and find a Marathon training plan.... crikey!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Being sensible... SIGH!


or should that be HUMBUG?

Today should have been DAY 2 of the schedule (day 1 was yesterday but it was a rest day!)... not much, just a 15mins jog and a little swim.


I'm going down with a cold.

I can't believe it.

I'm only just getting over this virus nasty from Christmas and the New Year and I'm feeling headachey, nettle throaty and chesty coughy today.

NOW... Now, normally this would not stop me from an itsy bitsy run and and itsy bitsy swim.
BUT.... but what happened before Christmas has freaked me out a bit
AND... and I've promised my Mum and Dad that I'd be "sensible"
ALSO... I'm travelling 200+miles each day for the next three days
OH AND... did I mention it's a constant -3 to -7 at the moment. COLD or what.

Obviously the "AND" consideration is most in the forefront of my mind. I don't (ok daren't) break a promise to the parental ship (particularly now they are remarried it's not like I can get away with a little white lie to one and honesty to the other... not that I'd normally do that.. no.. never.. not me gov... I'm innocent....hummm)

So I'm going to dose up with echinacea, vitamin C, paracetomal and an early night and see if I can beat this thing before it takes hold. More rest now in order to make sure I'm 100% before starting will benefit me in the longer run I know (having done too much too soon before)... still... frustrating.... I know you can feel my pain... anyone got any spare endorphins for me before I hit the chocolate....

...chocolate... what am I saying that's on this weeks resolution NOT to eat isn't it... CRAP!



On the weekly resolution front it's day 2 (already) and so far so good... phew.. although my 5-a-day (fruit and veg, ok nothing else.. really.. you people).... is actually more difficult to do then imagined.

On another note... and it's not like me to vent about work on this blog... but I need too right now... it's been nearly two months since our company made it's restructuring annoucment... which was met with the usual "slashing headcount" headlines ... well apparently we're losing up to 15% worldwide.... and yet we still haven't heard anything about what this means. OK at the time they gave airtime to a new "structure" but nothing since. Nothing's happened. Not a blinkin thing. No communications other then the statutory management cry of "we'll let you know as soon as we have news", whilst we all know external consultants are in and "reviewing" the company structure with the board... Well I'm bored of this malais. We all have this waiting over us like the guillotine about to fall (but will it fall on my head... who knows)... yet we are being told to "stay focused"... "stay motivated"... yeah right.... but let us look on the bright side... at least I do have a job right now... small mercies indeed.

Thanks - I feel a little better now I've got that off my chest.

It's this lack of training... I'm telling you ... it's getting to me...

Cheese anyone?

Sunday, January 04, 2009


Happy Sunday.

I achieved something today.

Something quite amazing.......

Yes people.... I, ME, DID IT...

I ROCKED GUITAR HERO III, Legends of Rock.....

I have beaten the "Easy" level without getting any RSI of either hands or fingers.

Winner!... Now I need to start all over again on the next level, which means using four fingers, enter the light of blue... Oh my .. this may prove some challenge!

What else....

Well I managed to face my fear head on and go back to the gym for a treadmill session. The place of nastiness a couple of weeks ago. I had planned on going outside for a run, but everything was white (not of the snow kind but frost) and yes it was minus 3 (all day it turned out), so I decided running in the cold air probably would not be such a sensible thing given all that has happened.

So I did it. I faced my fear and headed to the gym instead.

Warmed up with a 4k trundle on the bike (I hate those machines, my turbo or a spin bike is more enjoyable), then hit the dreadmill. Obviously my objective was not to push it, whatsoever... but gradually build from a very slow run increasing the pace by 0.5kph every two mins until I got to my half marathon pace, hold that for 3 mins and then come back down again. My HR peaked just over my zone 1 and zipped back down again as I slowed it. Phewy. A paltuary 2miles but some miles is better then no miles - I'm just glad to be feeling no ill affects... I have been quite a bit worried about what happened but now beginning to feel more confident, whilst obviously respecting my need to measure my effort currently and not rush into either long or intense sessions just yet.

I'm now certain that I'm not going to do my local half in 4 weeks time, which is a real shame as was looking to doing one on my doorstep. So I need to put together a training plan of sorts for Reading Half and also start looking towards Austria 70.3 which will be an exciting experience I'm sure!

Back to work tomorrow. I've not made any New Years resolutions as yet.... maybe I will and maybe I won't. But I am going to try and have a "weekly resolution" of sorts, maybe call it a weekly challenge (or challenges).

So this week I shall;
1. Eat my 5 portions of fruit and veg a day (this is harder then it would seem it appears)
2. Eat my main meal before 8pm at night
3. NOT eat any chocolate (although my other vices of cheese and chips are ok)
4. Shall not have any alcohol (having just taken delivery of another 12 bottles of wine I'm awash with the stuff - but it's ok it should keep me going for another couple of years I reckon!)

Tomorrow I'm going to say I'm "back in training", even if I only do 3 hours in total next week I'm going to follow a programme - which by the way starts with a ""rest day tomorrow, LOL!

Here's to the New Year (again)!

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Hunting for Espresso Cups

Today was the day that not only I woke up early but I had an unnatural urge to go to the local shopping town of Reading, yes on a Saturday and yes in the middle of the post-Christmas sales... GASP!

For what reason??!!

Well I just wanted to get some nice dinkly espresso mugs to go with my little coffee machine :o)

So off I headed for shop opening time (there is a limit to what I'll go to - and being in town after 11am when the hoards will be there is not one of them)... let me just say at this point my car registered it -5 degrees C!.... Hummm... So I was parked up by 0915 and commenced my mission. I thought I'd try John Lewis (after all I had vouchers so any purchases would be free right?!) ... humm but first I thought I'd reccie what House of Fraser had to offer... yes some crockery in the sales, none of which were espresso cups, and in fact no suitable espresso cups in sight. No probs, I had the vouchers and John Lewis would surely have something. Free foder and all that.

Having survived the freezing road crossing going from the shopping centre (mall) to John Lewis I headed to the basement, strangely excited at the prospect of spending voucher money. And so I hunted. Through the sale items. Through the non sale items. Yes there we espresson cups BUT they were all fine china... ME AND FINE CHINA... I don't think so.

So voucher free or not I did not purchase.. HUMPF.

Not to be outdone, I headed back to the Oracle Shopping Centre to Debenhams, surely they'd have some coffee cups....



I had no reason to stay beyond my 10am watershed and so headed back to the carpark.... and saw my fav coffee shop (in the UK), Caffe Nero's... this for those Atlantans out there is I guess most similar to Petite Carabou.... great atmosphere with excellent strong coffee.... so I popped in there for a decaf (go figure) skimmed (aka non-fat) latte with a couple of biscotti and a quick read of the paper.

I looked at the cups in there... I liked them...

I sighed...

Then it hit me.... I wonder if they're sell me one, two... or more... OH OH OH! I took a little sneaky look around and couldn't see anything to purchase (unlike the old starbucks stuff)... humm do I (a) ask the barister if he'll flog me a cup (or three), or (b) just get my phone out and google to see if they have a website.

I did (b).. and they do.... so I got back home (via the craft shop which is another story entirely) and ordered some cups on line!... AND THE CROWD WENT WILD (ok so the crowd was only Muffin and I think he went wild as he sniffed one of his cat-nip toys)!!


On another note I was thinking about a ride today but as I said it was minus 5 first thing and still zero when I got back... so was I going out.... not on your nellie.... so I kept the bike on the turbo and did another 30mins, again 10mins warm-up, some single-leg drills then a warm down. Haven't pushed it and haven't keeled over either. Well done me!

Friday, January 02, 2009

Getting back on the bike

OK folks... I did it.. I braved the turbo trainer!

I've done nothing but rest these last two weeks but felt it about time I gave some exercise a go! I dusted the turbo down, hooked up the bike and sorted out my Garmin sensor and got going.

Obviously this wasn't going to be a stress-test! So took it easy for 10 (easy gear with cadence at about 80rpm), then did 10mins of single leg drills... interesting and I am so outta control with that one!.. then 10mins easy.. for a total of 30mins and just over 6 miles.

Didn't feel horrid, didn't feel great either but don't believe I overdid it... baby steps Karen, baby steps.

Having done nothing but eat chocolate and cheese during my convalescence I thought after the ride I'd do the decent thing and make myself a carrot, apple and ginger juiced drink... Very refreshing and a nice starter before my pea and ham soup :o)

If I feel ok in the morning I may do another 30min spin out or maybe even go so far as going for a swim!

New beginnings.

On another note - I thought this an interesting map of the places I visited and swam, biked or ran last year.... didn't do anything in every location I went to (at least not with the Garmin), so the likes of Tremblant and San Francisco are missing their red blobs!

Thursday, January 01, 2009


This is what greeted me this morning!

Having seen in the New Year with some "Balderdash" (which is a game ok!) and some oiling (of the wine and champagne variety!), I crashed at my friends house..... Three of us crawled out mid morning to go for a refreshing, cobweb blowing, walk in the woods with the hounds and that's when we saw my car with a little looking flat rear....

On closer inspection there was.. ok still is... a rather LARGE screw embedded in the tire... "Oh... FONT!".... so we went for a walk anyhow then got back, put the hounds in the garden, yard for my American audience ;o)... and set to work... girl power ensued and yes although one of could have done of it we all three participated and managed to swap in the spare! Huzzah! Girl Power!

So Happy blinkin New Year car - thanks for that challenge.... !!

Got to get the car to the garage tomorrow as the tire can probably get mended (which will save me £200 on a new one!) and the spare is actually for the right hand side of the car (the tread is going in the wrong direction at the moment!)... so got to get that sorted before my mileage next week!

Right - I think I may have to get some food to help me with my hangover!!

HAPPY 2009 ...

Resolution number 1.... no alcohol for the month of January... oh did I really say that!!?? Clearly I must be feeling almost back to my old self... just in time for work tomorrow!!